'Spotlight,' actors of color win big at SAG awards amid diversity furor

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:24am EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES - "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV," Idris Elba joked on stage after winning twice at Saturday's Screen Actors Guild Awards, where actors of color claimed a slew of wins amid a furor in Hollywood over the lack of on-screen diversity.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson and the cast of "Spotlight" - all white actors - won the top three film awards of the night, but the rest mainly honored diverse cast and roles. That is in stark contrast to the Oscars, where no actors of color are nominated this year for the industry's highest honors.

"Spotlight," about the Boston Globe's probe of child abuse in the Catholic Church, beat out hip-hop biopic "Straight Outta Compton" for best film ensemble. The movie starred Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.

"This is not only for survivors of this horrific situation, this is really for the disenfranchised," Keaton said. "This is for the Flint, Michigans in the world, for the powerless."

DiCaprio was named best actor for playing a fur-trapper in pioneer-era retribution drama "The Revenant."

"We all stand on shoulders of giants, so thank all those actors from past who have inspired me and all the actors in this room," DiCaprio said.

Larson, who played a woman held hostage with a young son in "Room," was named best actress, while Sweden's Alicia Vikander won best supporting actress for playing the wife of transgender artist Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl."

"Spotlight," DiCaprio, Larson and Vikander are all nominated for Oscars, and with their Saturday wins, are cemented as front-runners in their respective categories.   Continued...

Idris Elba sits with his two awards, one for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for his role in "Luther" and one for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in "Beasts of No Nation". REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson